In addition to the ongoing Ross Clark Circle expansion project, Alabama Department of Transportation officials have scheduled other major projects for Houston County in the next fiscal year.
Topping the list in terms of impact will be the resurfacing of U.S. Highway 231 from Ross Clark Circle to the Dale County line, a 3.69-mile stretch of road. Officials estimate the preventative maintenance project will cost about $1.5 million in federal and state tax dollars.
Other key resurfacing projects locally include the stretch of Alabama Highway 52 (Hartford Highway) from Brannon Stand Road to Ross Clark Circle, the segment of Hodgesville Road between Saunders Road and Ross Clark Circle, and the stretch of South Park Avenue between Taylor Road and Ross Clark Circle. The Hartford Highway project represents the largest and most expensive of those efforts, covering 3.15 miles and costing an estimated $1.6 million from state and federal sources.
ALDOT officials included some oft-discussed and long-awaited projects in their State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), a federally mandated four-year funding and project scheduling plan. Projects not included in the STIP cannot receive federal appropriations, according to ALDOT.
Included in the STIP for next year is the installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Taylor Road and Campbellton Highway and the expansion of Denton Road to five lanes between Ross Clark Circle and Westgate Parkway. A safety grant will fund most of the roundabout project, which officials began discussing in 2015.
Bids for the Denton Road project will be opened in November, according to Dothan Public Works Director Charles Metzger.
The STIP currently lists the fourth phase of Ross Clark Circle expansion in the 2020 fiscal year, which will be the final stretch of the effort. This could be pushed back, though, as ALDOT has not opened the bids on the second and third phases.
Utilities work for the second phase has begun.
Traffic jam: Speaking of which, a utility project that will shut down two eastbound lanes near Ross Clark Circle and Honeysuckle Road for three weeks begins Monday.
The project will begin near the Krispy Kreme on Ross Clark Circle and move westward along U.S. Highway 84 West toward Honeysuckle Road. The initiative will cause the right turn lanes to Honeysuckle and Ross Clark Circle to be closed, as will an adjacent eastbound lane.
Crews will be repairing a sewerage line, a project that must addressed before roadway expansion takes place.
Meet the commissioners: The We the People of Houston County group has organized a public forum with Houston County Commissioners that will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at the downtown branch of the Dothan-Houston County Library system. The group has invited all of the commissioners to attend.
Ken Curtis of WTVY will moderate the event, which is expected to conclude at 7:45 p.m.
Meeting schedule: The Houston County Commission will conduct its regular meeting Monday at 10 a.m. at the Houston County Administration Building.